By Sungula Nkabinde

With spring hot on our heels and National Braai Day coming up in a couple of weeks, it’s time to light a match and get braaiing.

Whether it is gas, charcoal or wood, having a braai is a favourite activity in South Africa, as it brings together friends and family, children, adults, and people from different walks of life and cultures. In this post, experts from Weber discuss a few braai basics.

Position correctly

Before you light up, find a safe and stable place to put your stand, ensuring that it is far away from the house.

Get the right tools

The correct equipment – tongs, forks, spatulas, skewers and so fourth – make grilling easier.

Keep a lid on it

Remember to close the lid. Just about everything has to be grilled with the lid on as it helps to maintain a steady temperature, captures the smoky flavour better and allows for faster cooking.

Only turn twice

Many cooks succumb to the temptation of turning their food too often. If the heat is right, most foods only need to be turned once or maybe twice during cooking.

Season well

When adding seasoning, bear in mind that 20% of the flavour will drip into the fire, so it is important to season on the heavy side or, if your using marinade, to dip the meat into the marinade when turning it.

Salt carefully

Salt is your most important condiment but wait until10 to15 minutes before braaiing to add it because if you salt the meat too early, it can draw a lot of the needed moisture out of the meat.

Warm up your meat

Allowing your meat to sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes after taking it out of the fridge will allow the meat to warm up to the perfect braaing temperature.

Use briquettes over lumpwood

Lumpwood charcoal burns extremely quickly, making it more difficult to control cooking and creating excessive flyaway ash that can contaminate your food. Compressed to high density, premium-quality charcoal briquettes burn longer, resulting in more consistent and even distribution cooking of the meat.